No academic freedom in public varsities without autonomy

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) has called for policies to bring about greater autonomy among Malaysia’s public universities over their own administrative affairs, in order to make academic freedom in these institutions possible.

‘’At the moment, our universities are not free to make independent decisions on governance, financial and admission matters,” IDEAS director of research Ali Salman said.

“The hiring of vice-chancellors, drafting of university budgets and determination of student numbers and profiles are subjected to the ministry of higher education’s control.”

“The more dependent a university is on other institutions, the more questionable the integrity of knowledge generated will be. In order to safeguard academic freedom, true autonomy is the way forward for Malaysian universities,’’ he said in statement. Read more

Malaysia hampering document on migrant worker rights

Source: FMT News 

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia appears to be among several countries preventing an instrument, which would protect the rights of migrant workers in the Asean region, from becoming a legally binding document.

This is according to Adrian Pereira, who is director of human rights group North-South Initiative (NSI).

Pereira said sentiments picked up from closed-door discussions suggested that Malaysia was hampering the instrument, which stemmed from the Asean Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers in Cebu 10 years ago. Read more

Amnesty calls for release of Bangladesh rights activist

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) today slammed the arrest of Bangladeshi human rights activist Adilur Rahman Khan, saying this is not the first time the government has barred peaceful activists from entering the country.

Calling Khan “the latest target of a growing trend to impose travel bans on rights activists entering Malaysia”, the NGO said he had also been denied access to his lawyer.

“Previously, Hong Kong political activist Joshua Wong, Indonesian human rights defender Mugiyanto Sipin and most recently, Singaporean political activist Han Hui Hui were prevented from visiting the country,” AIM executive director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said in a statement today.

“We call for the immediate release of Khan, and an end to the use of travel bans against human rights defenders which further stigmatises their work, and limits their ties with the global human rights movement.” Read more

Court allows EC’s appeal over delineation in Selangor

Source: FMT News 

PUTRAJAYA: The Selangor government today suffered a setback in its on-going judicial review application against the Election Commission (EC) with regards to the redelineation exercise.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench chaired by Mohd Zawawi Salleh allowed the EC’s appeal that it was not required to provide to the state government the locality code and locality name used in the 1994 and 2003 exercise.

“We allow the EC’s appeal and set aside the High Court order,” he said.

The bench also dismissed the state’s appeal to cross examine EC Chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah.

“We dismiss the respondent’s (Selangor government) appeal and affirm the decision of the High Court,” Zawawi said in the packed court room. Read more

Bangladesh human rights activist detained at KLIA

Adilur Rahman Khan -pic drawn from FMT News

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: The arrest of a Bangladeshi human rights activist at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) this morning has been condemned by a local rights group.

Adilur Rahman Khan was detained by immigration officers at KLIA at about 4am today. Khan is the secretary of Odhikar, a human rights NGO based in Bangladesh.

He had travelled to Malaysia to attend a conference on the topic of “Abolition of the death penalty”.

“Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) condemns the detention of Adilur Rahman Khan. Read more

C4: Govt to blame for youth’s ignorance on corruption

Source: FMT News 

PETALING JAYA: A think tank says the government is to blame for the apparent ignorance among the country’s young of the concept of corruption.

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said when a blatant case of corruption takes place with those involved going unpunished, it was natural for the public to think it was permissible for them to engage in corrupt practices as well.

“I place the blame on the leadership,” C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said when contacted by FMT.

“When laws are properly enforced and applied equally by institutions without fear or favour, a more enabling environment can ensue for a culture of honesty and integrity among the young generation.” Read more